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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the amazing mama’s out there. Moms come in different stripes – biological, step, grandma, foster, adopted, spiritual moms etc.

She’s mom, a hugger, counselor, tutor, coach, prayer warrior, unshakeable, unbreakable, wise, helper, cook, driver, cheerleader, relentless, resilient, supporter, nurse, therapist, financier, multitasker, strategist, seamstress, preacher, encourager, witty, negotiator, and on and on and on.

The writer of the book of Proverbs nailed it and then some in Proverbs 31:30. To limit the worth of our moms to fleeting attributes like charm and beauty would be like selling them short for 10 cents. Yes, our mamas are beautiful, radiant and classy. But above all else, the greatest legacy and inheritance any mom can give her seeds is to train her children in the way of the Lord and show them by example how to serve the Lord and obey His commandments. Let me tell ya, that kinda momma not only earns the praise of men, and her generations to come, she earns the praise of the Lord when He says “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:21).

Have a happy and blessed Mother’s day.

Until we meet again, work it out*

*work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)

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Happy International Women’s Day

Shout out to all the wonderful women who make it happen everyday through thick and thin, bliss, hardships, snow, sleet, rain, sunshine, limelight, dark alleys, victory podiums, losses, disappointments, and any other ball life may roll your way. You are BLESSED today and always. You MATTER today and always.

Shout out to all the men that support and help to carry the weight with the women in their lives – Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, Sons, Friends, Coaches, Mentors, Prayer Warriors, Pastors…and on and on and on.

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Good News!

Well, I’m going for 2-for-1 today. Happy Year 2021 and Happy Valentine’s Day from Busola’s Faith Blog! I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the bad news, grief news, and stressful news that prevails from different media sources. I’m longing for some Good News! Good News makes the heart merry, it makes you skip, hop, and jump for joy. Good News makes you smile, gives you the warm fuzzies, and it makes you wanna sing and even break dance.

Luke 2:10 (NIV) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Luke 2:10 (NKJV) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

A Good Tree Bears Good News

Good News is a like a tree bearing leaves and fruits. As Jesus said, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:17). Good News doesn’t travel alone, rather, it has an entourage of good things in tow. Check out the Good News Tree, showing a few of it’s offspring such as great joy, salvation, boldness, urgency to act and go! Good News is a good tree bearing good things, a tree that just keeps on giving.

The Birth of Jesus Equals Good News

The ultimate Good News is the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In Luke 2:10-11, an angel announced to Shepherds watching their flocks by night that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem. That’s Good News! At that time, Israel was under Roman oppression akin to our world and economies currently held hostage by the dreadful coronavirus and every dreadful consequence of the pandemic. I love the attitude of the Shepherds, though they were living in a time of sociopolitical tension, they jumped for joy and hastened to go and visit the new born babe. Good News cannot be resisted.

Gimme some Good News

Simeon and Prophetess Anna were expectant for some Good News too. They blessed God and gave thanks to the Lord when they set their eyes on baby Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 2:25-38). The birth of Jesus was Good News because it was a fulfillment of prophecies from long ago. Their eyes beheld God in human flesh, the Messiah they had long awaited had been born and they rejoiced! Good News breeds thanksgiving and ushers in peace.

My Prayer for You in 2021 and Beyond

Isaiah 60:2 (TPT) Look carefully! Darkness blankets the earth, and thick gloom covers the nations, but Yahweh arises upon you and the brightness of his glory appears over you!

This verse is so apt for the time and season we are living in. Don’t give up and do not despair! May the Lord surprise you with Good News, both when you are expecting it and even when you least expect. I pray that flood waves of Good News will overwhelm you and your family in this season and forevermore. More importantly, I pray that your beautiful feet will carry Good News to others as you share that Jesus is the reason for the hope that is in you (Romans 3:15, 1 Pete 3:15).

Until, we meet here again, *WORK IT OUT!

Philippians 2:12*WORK OUT out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

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I’m Thankful and I’m Somber

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

I’M SOMBER

As I reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday we recently celebrated in the U.S., I do so with an overwhelmingly grateful and humble heart like I have never felt before. Need I say more? In a year like none other, the COVID-19 virus has not only dominated the news cycle globally, it has decimated lives and families in untold ways. Economies have crashed and many are still whimpering from massive losses. COVID-19 has plundered many lives, mercilessly upended our routines, while humbling all nations and peoples in the process. In many families, seats that should be occupied by a parent, aunt, friend, grandparent, spouse, child, or a neighbor on Thanksgiving Day were left cold and empty, with many hearts aching as they remembered their loved ones.

I pause for a moment, a moment of silence, I’M SOMBER and I grieve with you. Scriptures instruct us Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). May the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3), comfort you today and always. May His peace move in like a soft sea breeze to heal the broken pieces of your heart. May the everlasting arms of God be wrapped around you in your loneliest moments to remind you that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). I love you (warm hugs).

BREATHE, PRECIOUS BREATH OF LIFE

In the wake of the persisting pandemic, I find myself offering thanks to my God, my creator, my friend, my shield, my strong tower, and my rock for any and everything. As I paced around my house a few days ago, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, sweetly interrupted my busyness by reminding me of a scripture “Let Everything that has Breath Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6). The major organ the enemy COVID-19 virus attacks is the lungs where it triggers excessive inflammation. In severe cases, patients develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and loss of breath which causes death in some cases. COVID-19 attacks the BREATH of LIFE.

The Breath of Life is the beginning and the end of life. The whole essence of our being, our hopes, aspirations, dreams, and the grandiose plans we are constantly making are hatched on the expectation of maintaining the Breath of Life. O Lord, I thank you today and forever for the Breath of Life and the great mercy you have shown towards us by continually gifting us with the Breath of Life every single day.

JUST BREATHE

The first gift Adam and Eve received from the Lord was the Breath of Life.

Genesis 2:7

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE; and man became a living being.

Lord I am thankful for the Breath of Life. I thank you for the miracle of life, the miracle of sleeping and waking up, and the miracle of living every single day. I do not take it for granted for one microsecond. I live to worship you and give thanks to your holy name.

HOW TO GIVE THANKS

Glad you asked 😊

  • Express gratitude to God with your mouth. Psalm 109:30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
  • Give thanks in EVERY situation. Express gratitude in the highs, lows and in-between seasons of life. Do it even in the midst of disappointments and difficult challenges. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances;
  • Give thanks to God the FATHER through His Son (JESUS). Offer thanksgiving prayers to your heavenly Father in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I’M THANKFUL

C’mon now friends and family. Join me in praising and giving thanks to the Lord. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34). Amen.

Until we meet here again, WORK IT OUT*

Philippians 2:12 *work out your own salvation with fear an trembling

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A THOUSAND YEARS LIKE A MIST

Photo asoggetti on Unsplash 

What does a thousand years look like from the Lord’s bird’s eye view? What’s a millennium worth in the sight of the timeless, everlasting God and creator of the universe? Psalm 90:4-6 offers some clues: For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.

In God’s sight, a thousand years are:

  • like yesterday when it is past
  • like a watch in the night
  • like flood that is being carried away
  • like a sleep
  • like grass which flourishes and grows up in the morning, but by evening it is cut down and withers

I don’t know about you, but I am humbled by the Psalmist’s description of the value of 1000 years in the sight of the Lord. From God’s point of view, 1000 years ain’t nothing but a thang. A thousand years is like yesterday, it is similar to all the hours you spent sleeping last night; it’s like beautiful, lush green grass, but once the sun beats on it or a herd of cattle trample on it, the grass is gone. From God’s point of view, life on earth is like vapor or a brief documentary. Ellicott’s commentary explains Psalm 90:4 this way: To One who is from the infinite past to the infinite future, and Whose purpose runs through the ages, a thousand years are no more than a yesterday to man.

Whatever yesterday is worth to you is what a millennium is worth to God from His heavenly perspective. We are reminded of the brevity of life over and over again in the Scriptures:

James 4:14 – whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Psalm 103:14 – 16 – For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

Isaiah 40:6b – 7 – “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.

Yes, you read it right. With all the glitz, glamour, and razzle dazzle of our lives on earth, you and I are compared to “vapor”, “mist”, “dust”, “withering grass”, and “fading flower”. Again, I am humbled by these words. Let us run the race of life with vigor and passion, but remember that the golden prize we must reach for is salvation and making it to heaven (Philippians 3:14). Believe in in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31). Obey the commandments of God (John 14:15, 21). Love God and love other people (Mark 12:30-31).

Today, the Lord is saying to you “stop sweating it!” Yes, we must live responsibly, work hard, and use your time wisely as long as we have the gift of the breath of life, but don’t forget what matters most. The degrees, awards and accolades, promotions, jewelry, retirement nest egg, real estate holdings, newspaper headlines, fancy clothing etc., and the time we spend on earth acquiring all these things are like vapor in the eyes of the eternal God of heaven and earth. Hug your loved ones, encourage someone with a text message, comfort those who are grieving, help to pay someone’s bills, look for opportunities to serve in your community, buy groceries for a family in need, forgive, pray, and worship God with careless abandon.

My parting words for you, Psalm 90:4a “For a thousand years in [God’s] sight are like yesterday when it is past”. Life is brief, make it count. Until we meet again, WORK IT OUT!

WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12b)

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Spirit of Fear: Practical Ways to Nip it in the Bud

I have never felt so tempted to withdraw and toss a blog post draft as much as I have felt inclined to bury this blog post since it was conceived many weeks ago. As media reports of the COVID-19 epidemic ramped up and the situation got upgraded to a global pandemic in March, there have been flood waves of messages on the news and social media urging us not to fear. I thought, do I really need to write another article on fear? I surmised that more seasoned Christian leaders and counselors have articulately conveyed that we need to kick fear to the curb, stand firm, and be steadfast in prayer.

However, as the days, weeks and months go by, and the US and global statistics on the number of COVID-19 cases and death keeps growing, I realize that many people around the world are gravely concerned, dealing with sudden jolts of fear, or at worse being paralyzed by the spirit of fear. I humbly share a few practical ways for you to deal with either sporadic feelings of fear or at worse, a full onslaught by the spirit of fear not just during the current global pandemic, but in any season of life.

  1. Nip it in the bud as soon as possible. Repent for being fearful because living a lifestyle of harboring fear does not please God (Revelations 21:8, KJV). As a child of God, you must first recognize that fear is a spirit, and it is not of God but of the devil (2 Timothy 1:7). It’s a crippling spirit and you need to reject and resist it every time the enemy throws fear at you like a grenade. Resist the devil and his tool (spirit of fear) with the word of God (James 4:7, Revelations 12:11).
  2. Speak the word. Speak to the spirit of fear like a personality and tell it to depart from you. Jesus was a role model for this type of in-your-face, verbal resistance when he told the devil to depart from him when he was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:10). Take authority over your environment and guard your heart by letting fear know it is an unwelcome guest. Remember that death and life are in the power of your tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Instantly make verbal confessions that are contrary to the negative feelings bombarding your mind. Don’t be passive or mute in dealing with the spirit of fear, positive verbal confessions and scripture confessions are crucial.
  3. Get away from the fear-inspiring situation. Fear is an oppressive and aggressive spirit. Don’t binge on negative news, 24-hour cable news, or keep company with the wrong crowd. I encourage you to walk away, by unplugging yourself from the situation/person(s) stirring up fear in you. Remember, when you are facing a formidable enemy that outmatches you by every humanly imaginable yardstick, the battle is not yours, the battle is the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). Turn off your TV, electronic devices, or other sources of information that persistently inspire fear in you.
  4. Pivot from a mindset of fear to positive thoughts. As you mount a counterattack on the spirit of fear by rejecting and resisting it, refocus your thoughts and attention on your God (SOVEREIGN, FAITHFUL, LOVING, GOOD, MERCIFUL, KIND, GRACIOUS, GENTLE), and his promises for you as stated in his word. Think only positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Remember your testimonies from times past when God answered your prayers, even at the midnight hour when you thought all hope was lost. If he did it then, He will surely come through again.
  5. Praise and worship God, then do it again and again. Emerging evidence from neuroscience shows that people who regularly pray and worship experience quantitative positive changes in specific neural circuits of their brain and a boost in their immune systems that helps to prevent diseases (The Effect Of Worship On The Brain And General Health). Check out Dr. Caroline Leaf’s message to learn more about the instant neurological changes a believer experiences by worshiping God. In the face of formidable enemies, King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah deployed praise as a weapon (2 Chronicles 20:21). Singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God with a thankful heart (Colossians 3:16c, NLT), will neutralize the threat posed by the enemy called the spirit of fear.
  6. Pray at all times, even when you don’t feel like it. We also overcome the spirit of fear by praying ceaselessly, praying with understanding, and praying in the spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 14:15). When faced with fear, you can turn the table around by praying in faith for yourself, your family, your community, your nation, and the world. 

I pray for God’s rich mercies for you, your family, communities and our world in the face of many threats in this season – fear, sickness, death, stress, hysteria, poverty, financial crisis, etc. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind and may you experience how wide, deep, long, and high the love of God is for you. Be rest assured that God is sovereign and remains in total control of our lives and the world (Psalm 103:19, 1 Chronicles 29:11-12). All he wants from you is that you repent, surrender your life to Jesus, and live in obedience to his commandments. Until we meet here again, shalom and WORK IT OUT.*

*WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)

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Be like the sun in all its might

Photograph by: NASA/Moore Boeck

QUIZ: I am a yellow dwarf star, the closest star to the earth, and a hot ball of glowing gases. I am at the center of the solar system, and I make up over 99% of the solar system. My gravity holds the solar system together and keeps everything (ex. planets) in its orbit. I am far larger than the earth, I am 93 million miles (150 million km) from earth, and my intense energy is required to sustain life on earth. My energy emits heat and light. What am I?

ANSWER: The Sun (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/solar-system/sun/in-depth

I stumbled upon a dynamite scripture about a month ago. It blew me away and triggered the geek in me, hence the pop quiz. I hope you liked it  😊

Judges 5:31 (NKJV) Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength.

KJV …let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.


THE SUN.
Jesus is the Sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2), and His believers are called to be like the sun as it goes out in its might. The sun illuminates the earth with light. It is the source of solar energy that powers the whole earth with light and heat.

LOVE IS OUR IDENTITY. The light produced in the life of a Christian directly stems from and reflects the depth of our love for God. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…And…love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). Our love for one another is an indicator that we truly know and love God (1 John 4:7-8, 20). We must forgive and we must love even when our flesh cries out to act contrary.

LIGHT IS OUR IDENTITY. The light that shines forth from believers is derived from Jesus, our Sun of righteousness. We cannot emit light if the light of God is not first manifested in us and we are to walk in light (Ephesians 5:8, 1 John 1:5, 7). This is not resting energy, the love of God in us must gain kinetic energy and inspire good deeds. Jesus declared that he is the light of the world (John 8:12) and David proclaimed that the Lord is his light and his salvation (Psalm 27:1). Those that love Jesus are to be like the sun and are called “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). True light has its source in Jesus Christ and darkness surrenders to light (1 John 1:5). When Jesus our light comes, the glory of the Lord is ushered in (Isaiah 60:1). The glory of the Lord is a gamechanger!

HEAT. The sun produces heat. Heat destroys, purifies and refines. When the sun is at its full strength, viruses, bacteria etc. cannot withstand its heat. Malachi 4:2 “But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” Trust God for your healing, don’t give up as long as you have breath. Heat also refines us, transforms our character, and purges our sinful habits. You may be going through the refiner’s fire as you face adversity, but the Lord assures us in Zechariah 13:9, that he is right there with us in the midst of the fire, he is in control of the entire process, and he hears us when we call.

Today, be as the sun that goes forth in his might by manifesting the love, light, and glory of God.

Faith…work it out!

Philippians 2:12b … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

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Who did it? The devil made me do it

Man sitting outdoors in a pensive mood

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

It was December in the Chicago suburbs, and the excitement about a sunny, sandy, vacation getaway to The Bahamas Island had been slowly building up in our house. Our little boys were understandably excited and couldn’t wait. My husband and I had planned a family vacation for us and our 3 young sons to Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Eventually, it was “ready, set, go” time. My husband and I had our plates full and overflowing with many work tasks to complete before our vacation. So we struck a deal. Rather than packing our bags the night before the day of our departure, my husband promised to pack on the day of our departure as soon as he completed a few errands early in the day since our flight was in the evening. Well…yep, that’s what he said. He returned home later than expected. We scrambled to pack, flipping, and tossing all kinds of items into our traveling bag for our family of five.

We had grossly underestimated how long it would take to pack up. To further complicate matters, we had to drive for roughly one hour to the Chicago O’Hare airport, and we ran into rush hour traffic. Unfortunately, but not shockingly, we missed our flight. In the past, I’ve had a little bit of a reputation of cutting it close with my flights on some occasions 😉. But I somehow manage to make those flights by a thin razor margin and those were solo trips. Pulling the same feat proved impossible when traveling with a family of five with three young kids in tow. Yes, we missed our flight and the ensuing drama was not the least bit funny. I still have flashbacks of my two oldest sons weeping uncontrollably at the ticket counter with my 4-year old son seating on the floor right in front of the airline agent screaming “Mom, dad, it’s all your fault!”. Oh the drama, it was a pitiful sight. My husband and I quickly moved to console them and promised to undo the damage. We were re-booked on another flight for the next day. Praise God, we made it to The Bahamas and had a wonderful and blessed time on Paradise Island.

Upon returning home, my husband led a short prayer of thanksgiving for our safe return home, and he thanked God that we made it to The Bahamas despite everything the devil did to stop us. “The devil?” My ears pricked when he uttered that line about the devil in his prayer. Really?!? I thought to myself. Given that I had a front row seat and was also a main actor in the events that led to missing our original flight, I raised my eyebrows at any suggestion that the devil had anything to do with it. When my husband wrapped up his prayer, I gently asked him if he really thought the devil had anything to do with it. In my humble opinion, the blame lied squarely on our shoulders for not packing up and leaving for the airport on time. My husband looked at me and said “It’s all your fault!”. How funny, I bet many wives can empathize with me 🤷‍♀️🤗

After my conversation with my husband, I began thinking about how we as Christ followers are sometimes quick to blame any and all unfavorable experiences in our lives on the big bad D, THE DEVIL. Don’t get me wrong. I am neither naïve nor ignorant to think the devil sits on the sidelines or lies leisurely with a straw hat, a cold tropical drink, and an intriguing suspense novel under a cabana in a beach resort in Cancun, not caring about a single thing going on in the world. The bible clearly warns us not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11), he is called the accuser of the brethren (Revelations 12:10), and the father of lies (John 8:44). Peter cautioned us that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). My intentions are not to alleviate the devil of all responsibilities in the challenges and sorrows that plague humanity, especially in the life of Christians. Rather, I would like to address cases of self-inflicted troubles for which we so easily want to ascribe the blame to Satan. I jokingly say that on judgement day, many will be confronted with the reality that some unfortunate life events that we confidently claimed to be Satanic attacks were actually entirely self-made and should be self-owned. Indeed, the scriptures state that in this world we will have tribulations (John 16:33). Life is no cakewalk, however, we must be careful to know when to take responsibility and repent for our wrongful actions versus challenges in our lives that God permits in an attempt to build up our faith on our road map to spiritual maturity.

Friends, here are a few takeaways that dawned on me after my family’s self-induced-missed-flight-to-The-Bahamas fiasco:

  1. As the popular saying goes “to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail”. The scriptures state that faith without deeds is dead (James 2:17). If you’ve got a test coming up, you’ve gotta study. If you have an iota of desire to learn how to play the saxophone, you’ve got to enroll for lessons or at the minimum closely observe a skilled player doing their thing. If you’ve got a flight to catch, pack up in advance and get to the airport on time (Why are you looking at me? Lesson learned! 😂). God’s grace and divine providence will intercede for us when all our humanly options and resources have been exhausted, but we still come up short as seen when Jesus supernaturally fed 5000 people with five loaves and two fishes in Matthew 14:19-21. God is a miracle worker, but beware that our faith is undermined and even sabotaged when we fail to take the necessary steps that will allow our faith to materialize into tangible results.
  2. All of our problems in life are not always the devil’s fault. There is a natural realm in life influenced by human decision making as seen in the disobedient actions of Jonah, King Saul, and Samson in the bible. In parallel, there is a spiritual realm where the forces of good (Kingdom of Light) and forces of darkness (Satanic kingdom) dictate outcomes that are experienced on earth (Daniel 10:12-13 and 2 Kings 6:16-17). Our indecisiveness or wrong decisions in the natural realm can be costly and consequences can be long-lasting.
  3. Do not abuse the grace of God. Hmnnn…sweet, sweet grace, how we need you every hour (check out this good ol’ hymn). Friends, the grace of God is rich, lavish, undeserved, and nondiscriminatory (Ephesians 2:7, Titus 2:11), but it cannot and must not be abused, otherwise we will suffer the consequences. We are cautioned by Paul in Romans 6:1 not to use the gift of God’s grace as a cover for perpetually sinning.
  4. Don’t be slothful (i.e., procrastinating, lazy, indecisive, wasteful). In Matthew 25:24-30, the unprofitable servant had a few noteworthy character traits. 1) Making baseless accusations against his employer. 2) Falsifying facts to cover up his deficiencies and lack of productivity. 3) He was pretty skilled at playing the blame game. His master wisely noted in Matthew 25:27 that he did not even bother to put in the barest minimum effort by investing his talent with bankers to return an interest to his master. Guess who else had a badge of honor for blame gaming? Adam blamed Eve, after he ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:12). Similarly, the unprofitable servant seamlessly made one excuse after the other to justify his lack of productivity. An impartial judge of his predicament would describe him as lazy, unprofitable, and wasteful as his master wisely did (Matthew 25:26). The bible warns us against laziness and unfruitfulness (Proverbs 6:6-8).
  5. We as human beings are free will agents on earth. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, God makes it clear that he will make a way of escape for us when faced with temptations, but we have free will to take the exit ASAP or continue through the wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). Deuteronomy 30:19 states that the choice menu we face are life versus death, and blessing versus cursing. So what’s it gonna be Bubba? The choice is yours.
  6. BONUS: C’mon pack your bags and go on a vacation or start planning one even if it’s a staycation at the local lake, beach, mountains, or hotel. Enter into your rest (Hebrews 4:3). Hey, researchers agree too.

Yup, that devil is big, bad and ugly, and he is always up to no good. However, there is a natural realm in our life journey that is spurred and precipitated by our choices as free will agents. In such situations, I would have to say the same thing I said to my husband to you, “Nope, the devil did not make you do it”. Put your best foot forward, make an effort, and let the Holy Spirit divinely blow wind in your sails to take you to your supernatural next level (Zechariah 4:6).

Thanks for indulging me with your time today by reading my faith blog. Until we meet here again, WORK IT OUT*.

*Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 [NKJV]

2020: The Year of Purpose

Happy new year people! Welcome to my first blog in 2020. I’m so excited for what the Lord has in store for this year! I’ve been ruminating on “purpose” since December 2019. It’s been 2 months! I can’t get “purpose” outta my mind. Allow me to unload…

Pastor Rick Warren’s groundbreaking, bestseller book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For, has sold a whopping 34 million+ copies since its initial release in 2002. Needless to say, the discovery and fulfillment of purpose has been and continues to be a hot button topic for every human being. “What’s my purpose on this God-made earth?“How do I live out my purpose to its fullest potential?”

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his PURPOSE for them (Romans 8:28, NLT).

There is a God-inspired and God-breathed purpose for your life, and until you find that purpose you will feel out-of-sync and out-of-tune regardless of your pedigree, income bracket, degrees, or accomplishments. You are called by God to live according to the purpose he has defined for you as his beloved child.

Resolutions

The more I think about it, I have come to the conclusion that resolutions are self-centered, self-willed, self-driven, and they are potentially short-lived. Your resolutions will only go as far as you are able to steer and drive it to the finish line. There’s euphoria at the onset of making a resolution, but a letdown may be waiting along the way once your self-inspired energy reserves dissipate. Why? Scriptures make it clear that Jesus is our vine and we are the branches, APART FROM HIM [JESUS], WE CAN DO NOTHING (John 15:5). So, what’s the alternative?

Say yes to God’s purpose for your life.

Living a PURPOSE-Driven Life

  • As a child of God, identifying your purpose in life and fulfilling that purpose is your birthright! You can delay and obstruct the fulfillment of your purpose, but you can’t deny your purpose forever and have peace. It will nag at you and cry out for your attention.
  • For your purpose to blossom and reach full maturity, it must be matched with specific goals and plans. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23). We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps (Proverbs 16:9, NLT).
  • The Lord has pre-packaged you to live a purposeful life even before you were born. Psalm 139:16 makes it clear that God knows all our days even before we experience one day of life on earth.
  • Your purpose has longevity and it takes a lifetime to fine tune it. Everyday that you are privileged to live is an opportunity to fine tune your purpose and go to the next level.
  • Discovering and walking in your purpose unleashes everlasting joy into your life even when the going gets tough and rewards are meager.
  • Living outside your purpose creates an unrest, sadness, spiritual poverty, and feelings of mediocrity regardless of your income level, degrees, skills or experiences.
  • Your purpose may not be glamorous, but you will feel glamorous and walk with confident strides when you are living out your purpose.
  • To fulfill your purpose as a child of God, you must live by faith (Hebrews 10:38).

Purpose is Jealous For You!

  • Your purpose may or may not be related to your current employment or business. However, beware that your purpose can be like a galloping horse that steadily gains more momentum with every stride. As you develop in your purpose, it may jealously drive you to quit your current salaried job or business to pursue a different path. Are you ready to take a risk???
  • Speaking of jealousy, your purpose can be so jealous for you to the point that it may move you from your comfort zone to a different country, people or culture. Ready to learn a new language? Just ask Abraham. To fulfill his purpose as a father of nations, he had to endure a season of discomfort by migrating to another nation (Genesis 12:1-5).

A Purposeful Life is a Prayerful Life

Your purpose MUST be watered and nurtured with prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Just because you are loaded with talent and skilled to fulfill your purpose does not guarantee that you will fulfill your purpose. Your effective and fervent prayers (James 5:16) are key to weather life’s storms and unforeseen road bumps.

Joseph the Dreamer

  • Your dreams and yearning desires can be an indicator of your purpose. For example, Joseph was called to leadership and his dreams confirmed that (Genesis 37:6-9). Despite adversity, betrayal, and trials, Joseph fulfilled his purpose and supernaturally rose to top leadership as a foreigner in Egypt (Genesis 41:40-41).
  • Favor is the secret ingredient for advancing to the next level as you live a purpose-driven life. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield (Psalm 5:12). Favor was the illogical, secret ingredient that catapulted Joseph from prison to Pharaoh’s palace, and eventually to top leadership in Egypt.
  • Adversity, trials, challenges, abuse, the school of hard knocks etc., may attempt to derail your purpose, but you will come out on top if you do not give up. Do not be weary, you will reap a harvest in due season, if you faint not (Galatians 6:9, KJV).

Wrap-Up

Phew! I told you I have been ruminating on “purpose” for 2 months. I hope I inspired some fire in you or fanned your existing flames. Will you join me in seeking the Lord to discover your purpose and then begin to pursue that purpose with vigor in this year 2020? If you already know your purpose and are living it out, praise God! I pray God’s mercies and favor catapult you to your next level this year. Child of God, all of creation is waiting in eager expectation for you to be revealed as you live out your purpose (Romans 8:19, NIV). Someone, somewhere out there needs you.

Until we meet here again, WORK IT OUT*.

*Philippians 2:12WORK OUT your salvation with fear and trembling.